We thank you for your open letter published in The Beacon on January 14 regarding the recent departure of three women of color from leadership positions at University of Portland. While we are pleased that they are taking on exciting opportunities within new organizations, we agree with you that losing talented leaders with diverse perspectives is unfortunate for our institution. We assure you that even prior to receiving your letter, we were already engaged in discussions on the critical importance of equity and diversity in the searches we undertake, as well as our faculty/staff retention efforts.
As we begin a new academic year, I want to provide all community members with updates on key matters in the life of our University.
Campus just doesn’t feel right during the summer when the students aren’t around. There’s no one playing ultimate frisbee on Pru Pitch. The tables in Clark Library aren’t taken up with laptops and textbooks. The basketball court near Fields and Schoenfeldt sits unused. There’s a downturn in the number of joggers on Willamette Boulevard. Sure, campus remains busy with summer session and camps, but it lacks the distinctive rhythm that’s present during the fall and spring semesters. That’s why I relish the start of each new academic year. The students arrive and, seemingly overnight, The Bluff magically returns to the state it was built for and enjoys the most — when it’s brimming with energy and activity.
Fr. Mark Poorman sends a warm welcome to the new incoming class.